Thursday, March 31, 2016

a made up dinner

I left even thinking about dinner until late afternoon today;  I guess I was hoping that totalled up, the leftovers would amount to something tasty. And, they did!

What I had: some jars of homemade vegetable stock, leftover non-meat gravy, a few brightly colored bell peppers, a small portion of leftover minestrone, salmon in cans, rice, pasta.  I was getting an idea!  I sliced and slow-cooked the peppers in olive oil with a little onion powder, meanwhile heating the gravy. That was too thick and I added stock a few times, until finally I went and threw in the minestrone, which was no more than a cup and a half.

I cooked a pot of thin spaghetti, tossed some shredded parmesan into the sauce, and served the pasta, with peppers on top, chunks of salmon right out of the can (minus skin and bones) and that nice gravy.

And salad.  An inspiration!

Monday, March 28, 2016

simple dessert

Peach shaped glass bowls

good for filling up with chocolate pudding.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

"the vindication of Easter Sunday"

" We live in difficult times. We've only to watch the news on any given evening. If there's an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving God who is Lord of this universe, his presence isn't very evident on the evening news... It's fair and reflective to wonder: Where is the Resurrection in all of this? Why is God seemingly so inactive? Where is the vindication of Easter Sunday?

These are important questions, even if they aren't particularly deep or new. They were the question used to taunt Jesus on the cross: If you're the Son of God, come down off that cross! If you're God, prove it! Act now! For centuries they prayed for a messiah, a superman, to come and display a power and a glory that would simply overpower evil, but what they got was a helpless baby lying in the straw. And when that baby grew up they wanted him to overthrow the Roman empire, but instead he let himself be crucified.

What the Resurrection teaches is that God doesn't forcibly intervene to stop pain and death. Instead he redeems the pain and vindicates the death. The Resurrection of Jesus reveals that there's a deep moral structure to the universe, that the contours of the universe are love and goodness and truth. This structure, anchored at its center by ultimate love and power, is non-negotiable. You live life its way or it simply won't come out right.

More importantly, the reverse is also true: If you respect the structure and live life its way, what's good and true and loving will eventually triumph, despite everything, like a giant moral immune system that brings the body back to health. God lets the universe right itself the way a body does when it is attacked by a virus. We don't have to escape pain and death to achieve victory, we've only to remain faithful, good, and true inside of them. God's day will come."

                                 -  from the meditation for Holy Saturday, from Daybreaks, by Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Thursday, March 24, 2016

the night in the Garden

"This night is not the first night that Jesus went with the Apostles to pray. He invited them to come away with him on another occasion, and when they got to the place, they saw a hungry crowd waiting and begging for food. Jesus did not look upon those people as an annoyance, but as the very face of his Father...

This is why the devil hates reality. This is why the devil deals in 'ifs'... On this night, he is counting on Jesus fearfully imagining all the suffering that lay before him. However, Jesus vanquishes the devil when he says to the Father, 'not my will but yours be done'. Original sin came because our first parents trusted their imagination of God over the reality of the gift of the beautiful garden around them... Reality belongs to the Father."

                                God our Father, let us not be gripped in the fear of our own imaginations, let us not be attached to our own ideas of how things are supposed to be. Let us face the reality of our lives with the certainty that all reality and all of our lives belong to you.

                                                           -  from Magnificat,  Holy Week 2016

Monday, March 21, 2016

here this morning, almost gone tonight

The weathermen didn't really say how much we were getting -

at least not when I was listening.

But it ended up three or four inches.  The forsythia got surprised by it.

This was late morning. Now, it's 97 percent gone. March, in New England.

re-living Holy Week

  Holy Week commemorates the last few days of Jesus’ earthly life. And it is not an easy week. Holy Week is about real life, and so it can hit very close to home. It is meant to. We are invited to show up with all that we are and all that we have, because the Holy Week story is not just meant to be explained but to be embodied and lived. So just let the story be the story. It does not need to be explained, it needs to be experienced. It does not need to be understood, it needs to be lived. When we let the story of Holy Week be the story, we create room for it to become our story. We let it live in us.
   Saint Mark writes that Jesus “entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.” Only Mark offers us the opportunity to look around at everything. And maybe this is what we must do before going any further into this Sacred Week.
   Take a look around at everything in your heart. What do you see? Where does it hurt? What’s the pain? In what way is your heart broken? Are you carrying guilt? What are the things that you may regret having done or left undone that chain you to your past? What frightens you? Do you feel overwhelmed by life, as if you were drowning and want to escape? Are there fractured relationships? Is your heart filled with loss, sorrow, grief? Who are the loved ones who have died and you miss? What is the dis-ease of your heart? Take a look around at everything in your heart. This is what Jesus did and continues to do with us. Jesus does not just look around at everything, turn away and leave. He looks at it all with us so that he might take it with him and carry it through this Holy Week. And so must we. Jesus leaves nothing behind. And we must not either. Whatever we refuse to look at and bring to this week cannot be healed, cannot be restored, renewed, re-created or resurrected. 

                                                     -       a reflection from Fr. Damian, "borrowed" in its entirety from here

Sunday, March 20, 2016

plenty of corned beef

It's Holy Week, and I always want to have matzoh around; it seems fitting.

In reality, even though I love it, too much messes up the digestion - it's basically just flour and water.

I've been listening to this CD which Cyndi gave me a few years ago -

it was on repeat so many times, I think the cats got hypnotized - it was ten before seven and I realized they hadn't had their supper. Amazing that Henry wasn't asking for it!

We got lots of mileage from our corned beef and cabbage this year.  I bought two packages of the meat, and cooked one on St. Patrick's Day with the vegetables. There wasn't enough meat for leftovers on Saturday, so I cooked the other one.

Today I abandoned my dinner plans in favor of making a pot pie. There was a dill flavored dough in the freezer, so I took it out last night.  Into the casserole dish went the meat (there was plenty) and the carrots. I thought it should be without a gravy inside, so I baked it as it was, and made a gravy to serve over it. I know it's essentially the same thing, but the idea of some kind of gravy inside the pie with corned beef didn't sound right. So, we had it with the heated-up cabbage and some potatoes, and salad. Half of it is left, and we'll eat it on Tuesday after work!

Joining Rosie and Leila.

a kingdom not of this world

O Lord, 
we are so easily deceived still 
into expecting from you a kingdom 
governed according to the laws of this world.
Keep our eyes fixed on the triumph of life over death through the mystery of the cross,
so that we may grow into a deeper understanding
of the power of your law of love 
over the laws of human expectation,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

-  from  Magnificat, March 2016

Saturday, March 19, 2016

no salvation in politics

"There are momentous issues facing the nation. Some of them could inflict irreparable damage. But the revolution of 2016 is a manifestation of an unhealthy trend that finds Americans treating politics as if it were the wellspring of happiness and the source of redemption. This is a tragedy. Because, though politicians aren't always dishonest and superficial, they will always disappoint you. We're going to have to find salvation elsewhere."

                                          -  from an article by David Harsanyi in National Review

Friday, March 18, 2016

too soon

The daffodils awoke from their winter rest today;

I guess they didn't hear the news that a bit of snow is on the way.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

the agony

This is from the meditation for Wednesday in the fifth week of Lent, by Fr. Ron Rolheiser:

"In the Gethsemane accounts we're told that, right after being strengthened by an angel, Jesus gets up off the ground and walks with courage to face the ordeal that awaits him. His agony and the strengthening he receives within it readied him for the pain that lay ahead. Indeed, at the time of Jesus, the word agony had a double sense. Beyond its more obvious meaning, it also referred to a particular readying that an athlete would do just before entering the arena or stadium. An athlete would work up a certain sweat (agonia) with the idea that this exercise and the lather it produced would concentrate and ready both his energies and muscles for the contest.

The gospel writers want us to have this same image of Jesus as he leaves the Garden of Gethsemane. His agony has brought about a certain emotional, physical, and spiritual lather so that he is now readied, a focused athlete, properly prepared to enter the battle. Moreover, because his strengthening brings a certain divine energy, he is indeed more ready than any athlete."

                                                - from Daybreaks: Daily Reflections for Lent and Easter Week

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

a real SCOBY

My  SCOBY developed way better than I expected; it looked good!

Relatively speaking.  Now I'm trying to make kombucha with it.

Monday, March 14, 2016

the passion

"Jesus' passion should be understood as passio, passivity, a certain submissive helplessness he had to undergo in counter-distinction to his power and activity. His passion begins in the Garden of Gethsemane, immediately after he has celebrated the last supper. The scriptures tell us that he went out into the garden with his disciples to pray for the strength he needed to face the ordeal that was now imminent.

It's significant that this agony take place in a garden. In archetypal literature (and Scripture, among other things, is this kind of literature), a garden is not a place to pick cucumbers and onions. It is the place of delight, the place of love, the place to drink wine, the place where lovers meet in the moonlight, the place of intimacy. It's Jesus, the lover, the one who calls us to intimacy and delight with him, who sweats blood in the garden.

Jesus' agony is that of the lover who's been misunderstood and rejected in a way that is mortal and humiliating. It's his entry into the darkest black hole of human existence, the black hole of bitter rejection, aloneness, humiliation, and helplessness."

                                                       -  from Daybreak, by Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Sunday, March 13, 2016

blooming, and other things

I planted crocuses for the first time in the fall. And they came up!

Why have I never bothered with them before? They're wonderful - such charming little things.

It's been spring-like almost all month - very un-Marchlike. And more things are ready to bloom.

Last year the daffodils were blooming on April 16th.

On Thursday, my freezer bag of vegetable scraps was full, so I made stock. I am ever grateful to Leila for suggesting this - it never occurred to me before!

I used some today for a thin sauce over rice, and yesterday in the mac and cheese.  It'll soon be time to use the scraps for compost, but now I feel torn between both uses for them. I do like to make compost, though.

My current issue of British Country Living gave me big surprise yesterday; I was looking at an article about storage and organizing,

when I saw someone familiar on the page -

the Blessed Mother!  

I can hardly believe it.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

about confession

"At a certain point in one's growth, there is no progress without it. The critics...are right in saying that God is not tied to one vehicle as an avenue for the forgiveness of sins. They are wrong, however, when they denigrate the importance of a good private confession.

Simply put, confession is the sacrament of the mature and one grows mature by confessing one's sins."

                                                   -  from Daybreaks, by Fr. Ron Rolheiser

Thursday, March 10, 2016

bubble, bubble, but not in trouble

I'm getting very keen on fermenting and have a book called The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting. Monday I mixed up some kimchi and got it into jars. Starting on the third day you're supposed to burp the jars twice daily. This is what I found:

If your finely chopped fermented food is simmering wildly in the jar, don't be alarmed!  As long as it smells okay, it should be fine.

I am not an expert, but this is what I was told. You see, it happened to me once before.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

comfort and mercy

Thus says the Lord:
In a time of favor I answer you, 
on the day of salvation I help you; and I have kept you and given you as a covenant to the people, 
to restore the land and allot the desolate heritages, 
saying to the prisoners:
 Come out!
To those in darkness: 
Show yourselves!

Along the ways they shall find pasture,
on every bare height shall their pastures be. They shall not hunger or thirst,
nor shall the scorching wind or the sun strike them;
for he who pities them leads them and guides them beside springs of water.
I will cut a road through all my mountains, 
and make my highways level.

Sing out, O heavens, and 
rejoice, O earth,
break forth into song, you mountains. For the Lord comforts his people
and shows mercy to his afflicted.

Can a mother forget her infant,
be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget,
I will never forget you.

-  from Isaiah, chapter 49

Monday, March 7, 2016

making a SCOBY

or trying to -

It's been a week.  I'll leave it for one more.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

"The Principle of Blessing"

This is a meditation for Thursday in the third week of Lent, by Fr. Ron Rolheiser:

"No one can truly bless another without dying. That's what makes a blessing so powerful. Nature prescribes that. Imagine a flower: As a seedling and budding young flower it is essentially selfish, consumed with its own growth. That remains true until it reaches the stage just past its bloom. At that point, it begins to die and in that movement it gives off its seed and is then consumed with giving itself away.

There are myriad lessons in that about mature love, mature sexuality, and mature growth. In the movement from seedling to young plant to bloom to giving off seed in death, we see nature's paradigm for maturity and generativity. In a flower, when full maturity is reached, life becomes consumed in giving itself away at the cost of its own death.

You see this in blessing adults - good mothers, fathers, teachers, clergy, mentors, uncles, aunts, and friends of all kinds. These, the generative adults, do not look like Peter Pan or Tinkerbell (who look like children), nor do they look like movie stars or professional athletes. No. Blessing adults, of both genders, are recognized by their stretch marks, their scars, their physical waning, and by the very fact that they are dying. They are not obsessed with preserving their bloom.

That is nature's lesson. Generativity depends upon a willingness to die and to let go of our seed so that the other can bloom."

                                                 -   from  Daybreaks:  Daily Reflections for Lent and Easter Week